Analytics usage for major decision making varies widely across hospitals and health systems, and still often happens in a siloed or ad hoc way, according to a new study from HIMSS Analytics

Just 25 percent of health orgs use executive dashboards for daily strategy

By Mike Miliard
11:13 AM

A new poll suggests that many strategic decisions across healthcare providers are made on departmental or single-hospital-basis, and finds that only one in four of those organizations surveyed are making use of executive dashboards.

One in six healthcare orgs, meanwhile, are making use of 10 or more separate analytics technologies, the HIMSS Analytics report shows.

WHY IT MATTERS
The survey, which was sponsored by analytics vendor Dimensional Insight, asked more than 100 senior leaders about their hospitals' executive-level decision making.

The good news? A substantial preponderance of healthcare organizations (67.9 percent) have executive dashboards in place to help inform their big decisions. But only a third of those orgs (35.1 percent) use them every day.

The big picture, in other words: Fewer than one in four healthcare organizations (23.9 percent) are making the most of their data resources at an executive level on a daily basis.

HIMSS Analytics also found that while the vast majority (92.7 percent) of healthcare organizations polled say they have an analytics strategy, fewer than 33 percent say they've been able to substantially and successfully execute on that strategy.

Of those who use executive dashboards regularly, more than half (58.6 percent) apply those analytics only for departmental or single-hospital decision making. Just 24.3 percent of the healthcare leaders surveyed say their organizations are able to leverage analytics for smarter strategy across entire multi-hospital system.

THE LARGER TREND
The survey also examined the number of analytics tools being deployed at these health systems. HIMSS Analytics found that the average is about four separate technologies – but that 16.5 percent of those polled have 10 or more different data-crunching tools deployed across the enterprise.

There are any number of different ways to design and deploy dashboards of all stripes. We've recently shown how hospitals are building dashboards for artificial intelligence initiatives, cybersecurity and innovation projects. But streamlined executive dashboards that can aggregate and visualize data of all types, organization-wide, are hugely valuable to any organization hoping to make the best decisions to survive and thrive in the era of accountable care.

ON THE RECORD
"Hospitals and health systems have mountains of clinical, operational and financial data at their disposal, thanks to the proliferation of electronic health records, time management systems and other sources of data within their organizations," according to the HIMSS Analytics report. "What we found was that despite the investment in tools to support data-driven decision-making, the data isn’t being leveraged daily by the executive ranks."

"While many healthcare organizations have the best of intentions when it comes to analytics, they struggle with how to facilitate data-driven decision-making system-wide and on a regular basis," added Fred Powers, president and CEO of Dimensional Insight. "The sheer number of analytics tools in use means that different departments within an organization will often have different numbers or measures, and it’s hard to reconcile them, leading to a more siloed look at data."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.